As the first vessel of the entire Wagenborg fleet the 'Sanaborg' passed the island Nova Zembla. Once, in 1596, Willem Barentz and Jacob van Heemskerk preceded the icebreaker. Over 4 centuries later the flag of Wagenborg waves also on 77*12N on this Russian archipelago.
The Kara Sea is part of the Northern Ice Sea and is most part of the year frozen due to extreme cold conditions. This area is difficult to navigate and relatively an unexplored area. It is said that the Kara Sea might contain oils or natural gas in the ground, but this remains to be confirmed. Therefore, some oil companies started to explore this area to find oil and gas. This research involves the use of seismic survey vessels which are able to research the bottom of the ocean.
Recently, the icebreaker 'Sanaborg' accompanied a seismic survey vessel on her journey through the Kara Sea. The seismic survey vessel has a so-called 'spread' behind the vessel which consists of a number of driving wires that are used by means of sonar to map the soil. This spread is very fragile and should be kept moving through the vessel. Otherwise the spread will sink and damaged. Therefor the seismic survey vessel should always be moving, no matter what happens. To ensure this, the Sanaborg will sail in front of the seismic survey vessel and keep all waterways passable. Also Sanaborg acted as a so-called 'standby rescue vessel'. This means that in case of emergency of the seismic survey vessel Sanaborg must intervene by - for example - immediately start towing the survey vessel.
The Kara Sea is a special environment to work. "We work across Nova Zembla. It is really an area with nothing but fog, rain and cold. With only 4 degrees, strong winds and a draught up to 3.5 meters, the Kara Sea is a special area" the captain said.